Light and Airy Milk Bread

Fresh from the oven!

For years I wanted to find a great recipe for a nice, light yeast roll. Over and over again the results were sub-par and produced less than fluffy rolls that didn’t match even those made by the lunch ladies back in elementary school (which were quite good actually). But now the search is over!

I found this recipe (via Kirbie) and was intrigued at one of the ingredients…Tangzhong? What is that? Turns out that Tangzhong is the key to the entire recipe and an ingredient that you have to make yourself!

Tangzhong Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup bread flour
  • 1 cup water

Tangzhong Instructions:

  1. Mix flour and water together and whisk until the mixture is free of lumps.
  2. Pour mixture into a small pot over medium heat. Stir constantly as the mixture heats up and begins to thicken. When the temperature reaches 65 degrees C (149 degrees F), turn off the heat and remove the mixture from the cook top to cool. You should feel a difference in texture as it reaches temperature and becomes the consistency of a paste.
  3. Once the mixture is cooled, pour it into a bowl and cover the top using plastic wrap. Place the wrap directly on the surface of the mixture to keep it from drying out or forming a skin. You can use the mixture at this point or store it in the refrigerator overnight and up to two days.

Milk Bread Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 3 tbsp plus 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 120g tangzhong
  • 2 tsp Instant yeast (not active dry)
  • 3 tbsp butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces, softened

Milk Bread Instructions:

  1. Combine the flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast in a bowl of a stand mixer. Make a well in the center. Add in all wet ingredients: milk, egg and tangzhong. Using the dough hook, begin mixing on medium speed.  Knead until your dough comes together. Add butter and continue kneading until the dough is smooth, not too sticky, and elastic. I kneaded the dough for about 18-20 minutes with my Kitchen Aid mixer.
  2. Knead the dough into a ball shape. Take a large bowl and grease with oil. Place dough into greased bowl and cover with a wet towel. Let it proof until it’s doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a clean surface. Divide the dough into four equal portions and knead into balls. Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Roll each dough ball into an oval shape with a rolling pin. Take one end of the dough and fold to meet the middle of the oval. Take the other end and fold to meet on top.
  5. Flip dough over with the folds facing down,and flatten dough with rolling pin.
  6. Flip dough over so the folds face up. Now roll the dough up.
  7. Place each of the rolls into the bread pan and put a piece of plastic wrap over the rolls.
  8. Let them rise until double the size, approximately another 40 minutes.
  9. Beat an egg and brush egg mixture on top to create shiny eggwash finish.
  10. Bake at 325 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes.

The rolls have a nice ‘oven spring’ that creates a light and airy roll. Enjoy!

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